Story Theory and
the Number of the Beast

by Steven H. Cullinane
on December 21, 2001

There is one story and one story only
That will prove worth your telling....
Robert Graves, "To Juan at the Winter Solstice"

Part I -- The Beast:
The Story Theory of Truth

"People have always longed for truths about the world -- not logical truths, for all their utility; or even probable truths, without which daily life would be impossible; but informative, certain truths, the only 'truths' strictly worthy of the name. Such truths I will call 'diamonds'; they are highly desirable but hard to find....The happy metaphor is Morris Kline's in Mathematics in Western Culture (Oxford, 1953), p. 430."
-- Richard J. Trudeau, The Non-Euclidean Revolution, Birkhauser Boston, 1987, pages 114 and 117

"A new epistemology is emerging to replace the Diamond Theory of truth. I will call it the 'Story Theory' of truth: There are no diamonds. People make up stories about what they experience. Stories that catch on are called 'true.' The Story Theory of truth is itself a story that is catching on. It is being told and retold, with increasing frequency, by thinkers of many stripes.... My own viewpoint is the Story Theory.... I concluded long ago that each enterprise contains only stories (which the scientists call 'models of reality'). I had started by hunting diamonds; I did find dazzlingly beautiful jewels, but always of human manufacture."
-- Richard J. Trudeau, The Non-Euclidean Revolution, Birkhauser Boston, 1987, pages 256 and 259

"The humorous story is strictly a work of art — high and delicate art — and only an artist can tell it..."
-- Mark Twain, "How to Tell a Story"

"I need a man who knows how the story goes."
-- Shania Twain, "Any Man of Mine"

On the backstory of the film "A Beautiful Mind," nominated December 20, 2001, for by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association:

"The [Nobel Prize} committee dispatched a scout to Princeton with one mission: to determine whether the rumors that Nash was recovering were true. Nash was eccentric, the member reported back, but no longer crazy. His recovery had begun gradually.... One day, the story goes, Nash suddenly turned to a professor to whom he'd never spoken before and remarked that he'd seen the man's daughter quoted in the newspaper."
-- Miriam Davis in The Washington Post, Dec. 18, 2001

The Professor that Nash turned to:

Freeman Dyson.

The Professor's Daughter:

Esther Dyson.

More on the the theme of the Professor and his Daughter:

See the home website of S. H. Cullinane, page three.

"He's a Mad Scientist and I'm his Beautiful Daughter."
-- Deety in Heinlein's The Number of the Beast.

"If you have ever loved a book so much that you began to believe that it continued on in its own world even after you put it down, this book could be for you."
-- Jodi Russell, review of Number of the Beast

"You're a smart girl, Gay."
"Boss, I bet you tell that to all the girls."
-- Zebadiah Carter and Gay Deceiver in The Number of the Beast.
For details, see What's a Gay Deceiver?.

Part II -- The Beauty

Dwell on her graciousness, dwell on her smiling,
Do not forget what flowers
The great boar trampled down in ivy time.
Her brow was creamy as the crested wave,
Her sea-blue eyes were wild
But nothing promised that is not performed.
-- Robert Graves, "To Juan at the Winter Solstice"

For details, see (The Esther Dyson Pinup Page)

Page created December 21, 2001 shc759. Return to Journal Home Page.